Billions of pounds are spent annually to treat wounds in the US alone and the burden is continuing to grow due to increasing healthcare costs. An aging population and the significant rise in the number of people with diabetes and obesity means that wound care represents a considerable problem across the world.
Smith & Nephew, the global medical technology business and world-leader in advanced wound management, strengthened its roots in the city earlier this year by opening a state-of-the-art Research & Development centre at its Hull site. As a dedicated centre of excellence for wound management technologies across a range of specialist fields, access to a regular talent pipeline was a fundamental consideration for Smith & Nephew in line with their investment.
Currently, graduates of the University of Hull make up around 25% of staff within wound research and development at Smith & Nephew in Hull. In recognition of the pivotal role that the University plays in the success and long-term sustainability of their R&D centre, Smith & Nephew committed to increasing the number of places offered to graduates each year.
This year the University announced a five-year collaboration with Smith & Nephew to drive research into pioneering approaches to advanced wound care which sees a co-investment of around £3-million. The partnership is designed to bring together academia and industry – establishing a team of experts charged with developing scientific insights and innovative treatments that will benefit patients.
Eight PhD studentships have been created across a range of disciplines as part of the collaboration, combining the brightest minds with the finest R&D facilities to drive innovation in wound care.
Stewart McKinlay, Vice President of Research & Innovation at Smith & Nephew, said: “Often collaborations with academia are collaborations for collaborations’ sake. But this partnership is the most exciting thing I’m aware of in the sphere of wound management. The goal between us is not to just stop at these PhDs, but create a rolling programme aimed at changing wound care management across the world, and as a consequence, change individuals’ lives. I am not aware of any group anywhere that is doing this as well as the University of Hull is.”